MIDTOWN, Manhattan -- The NYPD is beefing up security across New York City in the wake of the pipe bomb terror attack in an underground corridor between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal Monday morning.
The explosion happened in the long passageway that runs a full city block under 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues. The 7:20 a.m. blast caused smoke to fill the passageway, which was crowded with Monday morning commuters.
"The mission of the NYPD is to secure all major transit hubs and major sites in this city, so you'll see an expanded NYPD presence today all over the city," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "New Yorkers have come to understand when you see our specialized forces, when you see those long guns and those highly trained officers, that is something that should be reassuring to you. It means the NYPD is on full alert and out in force, and that means you are safe."
De Blasio rode the subway Monday evening to reassure commuters of the system's safety.
Madison Square Garden increased security measures, working closely with local law enforcement and the NHL, ahead of Monday's Rangers game, which will proceed as scheduled.
"To help ensure that everybody can enjoy an unforgettable and safe experience at Madison Square Garden, we strongly discourage guests from bringing unnecessary bags, particularly backpacks, into the arena. As always, all bags will be subject to rigorous screening, to include being x-rayed, which can delay entry into the arena. Guests who do not have a bag can take advantage of our No Bag Express Lines, located on the 31st street side of Chase Square," the company said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he has ordered extra security at mass transit hubs in his state following the pipe bomb explosion in a passageway near Times Square in Manhattan.
The suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who is from Bangladesh and has been in the country for seven years. He reportedly lived at an address in Brooklyn.
The explosion triggered a massive emergency response by the NYPD and FDNY both above and below ground, tangling subway and bus service. Authorities described it as a terror-related incident.
Officials stressed there are no additional credible threats against New York City at this time, but security was being ramped up as a precautionary measure.